August 9, 2019
It wasn’t that long ago (just 20 years, in fact) that Democrats and Republicans tended to view the Supreme Court with equal esteem (about 80% of self-described members of both parties had a “favorable view” of the Court).
In 2015, following the Court’s end-of-term rulings upholding same-sex marriage and most of the Affordable Care Act, GOP views of the Supreme Court reached a 30-year low, with just 33% indicating that they had a favorable opinion. My, how times have changed: The share of Republicans with a favorable view of the court rose to 82% this past January – equaling its highest point in decades – before slipping to 75% in the most recent survey.
By contrast, Democrats’ favorability of the court has declined since June 2016, when 72% had a positive impression. Since then, the share of Democrats with a favorable view of the court has fallen 23 percentage points, with much of that drop occurring this year (as recently as January 2019, 63% of Democrats said they viewed the court favorably).
The 26 percentage point difference between the two parties is among the widest it has been over the past two decades.
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